Matt Redman’s song Blessed be Your Name has been on my mind a lot recently. It’s a song about praising God in the ups and downs of life.

I’m convinced that following Jesus is the best way to live. The life of discipleship is satisfying and good. But it’s not always easy. Often it involves pain, struggle and sacrifice. But it’s always worthwhile. All the time.

So don’t run away from hardship. Instead expect it. Welcome it. Pray in the midst of it. Because the Lord is present and close. Closer than you think. And be inspired by the wisdom of Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471), who said:

Jesus has in these days many people who love his heavenly kingdom but few who bear his cross. He has many who desire his comfort, but few who are ready for trials. He has found many to share his table, but few to share his fast. Everyone longs to rejoice with him, but few are ready to suffer for him.

Keep following. Though there’s pain in the offering, blessed be your Name.